Single parents have some unique parenting issues that are not faced by couples, including estate planning. There are financial strategies and estate planning protections for single parents that allow the parent to protect the financial future of their child(ren) if the parent should die while the children are still minors.
1. Choose and Name Your Child(ren)’s Guardian
What will your child’s living arrangements be if you die before they turn 18? Who will manage their finances? Do you need to protect your child from their legal other parent, or from a family member? If there is no will or other document that specifies your child custody preference, the courts will determine who gets custody and decision making for your minor children if you die.
2. An Insurance Policy
Saving money for your child’s care and education is extra challenging for single parents. A life insurance policy can minimize inheritance taxes and provide financial support for your children.
3. Retirement Accounts and Other Named Beneficiaries
Accounts such as pension plans, insurance policies or forms of savings, investment and retirement income need a named beneficiary. Your named beneficiary overrides your will: so be sure to review your beneficiary accounts regularly to ensure your money goes to your rightful heirs.
4. Health Care Power Of Attorney
If you become seriously ill or incapacitated, who do you trust to make your health care decisions? If you don’t have a spouse, who do you want to make medical decisions on your behalf? If you don’t have an Advance Health Care Directive or Healthcare Power of Attorney, the courts will assign someone to make your medical decisions – and it may not be a person your trust.
5. Financial Power of Attorney
Who do you trust to pay the bills and take care of your finances if you become incapacitated? A durable power of attorney for finances is used to allow the designated person to handle affairs in a certain area of the principal’s life, such as in financial matters.
An experienced estate planning attorney can review your situation and advise you on the best options to protect your family.
Single parents have unique needs to protect their children. Estate planning is preparing for the future. Contact Estate & Probate Legal Group in Oak Brook, Illinois today at 630-864-5835.
AREAS WE SERVE: Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake and Will counties